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The Jefferson of Our Time by Thomas DiLorenzo

American politicians, from Lincoln to FDR and even Bill Clinton, have tried to claim the political mantle of Thomas Jefferson. Lincoln was truly the anti-Jefferson who nevertheless mouthed Jefferson’s words of “all men are created equal” to try to win the support of Jeffersonians in the North in the 1864 election.

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of...

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FDR even more ludicrously tried to paint the New Deal as a Jeffersonian program for similar reasons; and political junkies may recall that President William Jefferson Clinton made a point of stopping off at Jefferson’s home, Monticello, on the way to his first inauguration. (He then turned around and proposed to nationalize the health care sector of the economy, funded by the largest tax increases in history — decidedly anti-Jeffersonian positions.)

American politicians understand that there are — and always have been — a great many Americans who believe in the Jeffersonian philosophy that “that government is best which governs least.” They may want minimal government, as called for by the Constitution, but by and large they want to be left alone to live their own lives within the rule of law and the norms of civilized society. They distrust centralized political power and hold the commonsense view that government is always easier to control the closer it is to the people.

That’s why politicians from Lincoln to Clinton have mouthed Jeffersonian slogans. They want the votes, but have no intention of adopting any of Jefferson’s political beliefs and policies based on them. (For his part, George W. Bush is probably more familiar with “The Jeffersons” television show of the 1970s than the political ideas of our third president.)

Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo

Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo (Photo credit: skitzianist)

In reality, Grover Cleveland was the last American president who actually believed in Jeffersonian principles of government and was even moderately successful in implementing them (he vetoed literally hundreds of pieces of legislation). It’s been almost 120 years since a genuine Jeffersonian has been a major candidate for the highest office in the land, but we finally have in our midst the genuine item — the real deal — in the person of Ron Paul.

Unlike all other candidates for the presidency, Ron Paul does not attempt to dupe the public into believing that he is in favor of fiscal responsibility, limited and decentralized government, and individual liberty. He has spent the past three decades demonstrating that he is single-mindedly devoted to these principles, and sincerely believes that he can succeed in returning them to the American polity……

EXCERPT

via The Jefferson of Our Time by Thomas DiLorenzo.

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